Cash in Hand for Wild Atlantic Salmon On the Horizon

Fredericton…The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) welcomes a one-time expenditure of $30 million announced by the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Fredericton that will benefit wild Atlantic salmon populations in the four Atlantic Provinces and Quebec. Bill Taylor, President of ASF, said, “We are indebted to the Honourable Loyola Hearn, who was instrumental in securing the endowment fund as part of the Parliamentary Fisheries Committee, and is vigilantly steering the fund through the final approval process; and to Greg Thompson, MP for New Brunswick Southwest, where ASF’s headquarters are located, for his constant support.” “It’s important to get the funding invested quickly,” said Mr. Taylor, “so that accumulated interest will be available to river associations and watershed committees, hopefully, by the 2007 salmon season.” Volunteers in 125 river organizations that are part of ASF’s Regional Council network expend thousands of hours and more than $10 million dollars annually in salmon conservation activities. Mr. Taylor continued, “The fund will greatly assist these efforts and the sustainability of our wild salmon populations by strengthening and expanding habitat restoration, education, research, and conservation programs.” (more) …2 “Economic benefits flow from healthy salmon runs,” said Mr. Taylor. “The Atlantic salmon recreational fishery is worth about $200 million to Atlantic Canadian and Quebec communities, and this will grow as more runs are restored.” The funding comes at an opportune time, when there is a trend towards better salmon runs to Canadian rivers as a result of a conservation agreement with Greenland fishermen, sponsored by ASF and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund. The agreement has suspended the commercial salmon fishery at Greenland that killed North American salmon on their winter feeding grounds for five years now. At the beginning of the 5-year agreement, Canadian Atlantic salmon populations had plunged to an all-time low of 418, 000 and, since then, the number has trended upwards to 701,000 in 2005. “Now the endowment fund gives us an opportunity to better ensure that the salmon that escape the Greenland nets return to healthy rivers in Atlantic Canada and Quebec,” continued Mr. Taylor. “We are pleased that Fisheries and Oceans Canada is in the process of setting up a Board of Directors to administer the fund,” concluded Mr. Taylor. Since the Fund first appeared in a federal budget in early 2005, ASF has worked in partnership with DFO to prepare an administrative framework to guide the delivery of the funding. The Atlantic Salmon Federation is an international, non-profit organization that promotes the conservation and wise management of wild Atlantic salmon and their environment. ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England) which have a membership of more than 140 river associations and 40,000 volunteers. The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States. -30- Contact: Sue Scott Vice President - Communications 506 467-6804 (cell) or 506 529-1027 (office) Speak Out Against the Corps’ Nationwide Permit Program The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is poised to expand its nationwide permit program, fast-tracking the agency's approval of harmful projects. These nationwide permits provide a "streamlined" approval process for projects with so-called "minor" environmental impacts -- yet these impacts can harm freshwater resources and damage rivers and wetlands. Under the new proposal, the Corps would have broad discretion when it comes to permitting mining, bank stabilization, fill, development, and other activities. The problem is that these nationwide permits lack basic Clean Water Act safeguards, such as public notice requirements and a thorough evaluation of less damaging alternatives. These permits also would allow unwise floodplain development and wetland destruction, putting people and communities at risk. By creating a less stringent permitting process, the Corps would be rubberstamping the destruction of small streams and wetlands across the country. Now is your chance to stop the Corps from allowing the destruction of our nation's valuable streams, wetlands, and floodplains. Tell the Corps that you oppose its nationwide permitting package. The comment deadline is next week, so please act TODAY! **Forward to a friend** Sincerely, Rebecca R. Wodder President ************************************* To contact American Rivers, email us at [email protected].